WORKING IN COOPERATIVES TODAY. The voice of new care professionals and turn-over in social enterprises
The care work sector is facing an alarming increase in turnover among employees, without a corresponding ability to recruit new workers. This phenomenon is influenced by the growing demand for interventions in the educational, social and health and welfare sectors, and the need to guarantee the quality of interventions with appropriate professionals, ensuring the continuity of services to users. The issue has been reported by consortiums and social cooperatives in Lecco and Sondrio, but it also seems to be widespread at the national level, involving various social service providers.
National research indicates a change in the motivations of young workers, with a decrease in the priority given to work over other values such as fun, culture and knowledge. However, a significant percentage of young people are interested in the social utility of work and corporate social responsibility. In the context of care work, which is characterized by social utility but low pay and challenging demands, the survey conducted suggests that young people’s motivations may be contributing to the increasing turnover.
Euricse’s 2023 survey of 24 social cooperatives and about 1,200 workers under 35 in the provinces of Lecco and Sondrio examined the organizational, individual and contextual dynamics of care work. Data collection involved questionnaires on cooperative turnover, assessments of organizational policies and contextual dynamics. The perspective of youth was explored through questionnaires administered to a large sample of workers in area social cooperatives. Part of the data was discussed in four thematic focus groups with cooperatives participating in the research.
This report presents the results of the research phases, attempting to integrate the perceptions of the cooperatives and their young workers to verify the correspondence of perspectives and analysis of the problem. In the second part, these analyses are synthesized, supplemented with practical cases and insights specific to the sector or professions involved.
The research was carried out in collaboration with Confcooperative d’Adda, Consorzio Consolida and Consorzio Sol.Co Sondrio, with funding from Fondazione comunitaria del Lecchese and Fondazione Pro Valtellina.